TORONTO — East Side Mario’s held its fourth-annual Pasta Challenge competition last week, in partnership with Barilla Canada. The Masters of Pasta featured five cook contestants from the casual restaurant chain and was held at the Chefs’ House on June 27th before an audience of media, special guests and eight judges, including KML’s own editor/publisher, Rosanna Caira.
The competition was open to all front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house staff from the national restaurant chain’s location across the country, and was judged on taste, originality and presentation. One of the requirements of the competition is that chefs keep their recipes’ food costs under 30 per cent.
When the cooking was done, Ryan Ternapolski, back-of-house supervisor in Pembroke, Ont., emerged as the winner based on his Inferno Mac’ n’ Cheese.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Ternapoloski acknowledged the role his grandfather played in inspiring the dish, explaining that his grandfather — who passed away a little more than a year ago — had inspired the zest in his dish.
As winner of the competition, Ternapolski’s dish will now appear on the East Side Mario’s menu for the next year.